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When writing a resume, I always try and put myself in the shoes of the potential employer and think about what they want to know. My job as the resume writer is to make the employer’s job as easy as possible to get to the information that they need in order to bring me in for an interview. To this end, there are a few things that I think an employer wants to know.

  • What job am I applying for; and why am I the best candidate for the job?
  • What have I done in the past to support my being the best candidate? This includes with who I did the job for, and most importantly, what did I accomplish doing the job?
  • Finally, they want me to be succinct because my resume is just one out of other numerous resumes that they have to read.

So that being said, here are the tips that I have:

  1. Describe the job that you want at the beginning of the resume and why you are the best candidate. You may have to do that part separate for each job title you want. Your job is to not have the hiring manager work to see if you are the person for this job that they are trying to fill. If the hiring manager has to work to picture you in the job, then it puts you at a disadvantage.
Example: Seeking a part-time position teaching Math and/or Computer Science online to undergraduate students.
  1. When writing about your past jobs, back up your statement with facts in all the entries that you make on your resume: what you did, whom you did it for and what you accomplished doing it (quantitative accomplishments).
Example when applying for a teaching job: Instead of just University Professor in Math and Computer Sciences, I would may say University Professor for over 10 years teaching over 3,000 students undergraduate and graduate courses in Math and Computer Science. The latter offers a much richer picture of who I am and what I have to offer.

I don’t have a roster of all my students so to get to the number of students I estimated it. Conservatively I taught 3 class a quarter with 4 quarters each year for 10 years. On average there were 25 students in a class. Voila 3,000 students. That gives a more complete picture of what I have done and I can back up my number if asked.

  1. Finally, be succinct.

The overarching philosophy is to put yourself in the shoes of the person, making a decision to hire and think about what they want in an employee. This means that with any interaction (say or do) you have with the potential company should reflect you being the ideal candidate for the job.